FACTS ON NEUTERING CATS - Did you know that a female cat can, in just five years, be responsible for 20,000 descendants? From the age of six months a healthy female cat can have up to three litters each year with five or six kittens in each litter. That adds up to 18 good, caring homes to find each year - simply from the offspring of just one cat! There is a common misconception that a female cat should be allowed to have one litter of kittens before being spayed. As a cat has no anticipation of motherhood, there is no benefit to the cat from having a litter. A cat only recognises a kitten when it squeals at her the first time she gives birth. This first experience provides the memory therefore it would seem kinder to spay before the first pregnancy.

Every year Cats Protection is left with the problem of finding new homes for over 75,000 unwanted cats and kittens. There is no good reason to allow a cat have one litter before spaying. It costs far more to feed a pregnant cat and her kittens then to pay for a spaying operation.

Did you now that a neutered cat is less likely to catch FIV or FeLV? Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukaemia Virus are life threatening diseases for cats. They are transmitted through the cat's saliva which makes fighting cats more at risk. Neutered cats are less likely to wander, aggressively protect their territory or get into fights with other cats. They are therefore less likely to get bitten and be infected with these diseases. An un-castrated male marks his territory with strong smelling urine. This is called spraying and he will do this inside the house as well as around the garden. He will disappear for days or weeks, often turning up injured or ill from untreated wounds. Most cats killed on the roads are un-castrated toms. Most noisy singing cats are un-castrated toms too. Neutered cats do not get fat. Only overfeeding makes them overweight and subsequently unhealthy. Neutering does not affect the cat's ability to catch mice. However a neutered cat is more likely to stay close to home and therefore be safer and they also make a better pet.


FEMALE CATS should be spayed from five months or advised by your vet. A short stay at the surgery followed by a second visit seven to ten days later to remove the stitches (or these can be of the dissolvable variety) is all that is involved.

MALE CATS should be castrated from five months or as advised by a vet. A matter of a simple routine operation under anaesthetic with a brief stay at the surgery.

So you see, rather than a common misconception that this is a cruel procedure, the facts are the exact opposite. Not only does letting your cat have litter after litter mean there are so many more unwanted cats to find homes for, the practice of "granny dumping" is now on the increase - this is where irresponsible owners are dumping the older cat in favour of keeping the much cuter option - i.e. one of the new kittens.

We, at Cats Protection will never, ever, rehome an un-neutered cat. Even new owners of our kittens are provided in their rehoming paperwork a "proof of neutering" certificate which they must return to us to prove that the kitten has been neutered at the correct time. To date, not a single owner has objected to this, as the facts speak for themselves. Unless you keep a cat specifically for breeding purposes - e.g. pedigree cats for showing, etc., neutering must be carried out.

Read about Arwen whose plight highlights the need for neutering

Cats Protection may be able to help with the cost of neutering your cat!

Cats Protection champions neutering as the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted felines in the UK! We seek to dispel myths, spread the neutering message and make it easier for people on low incomes or means-tested benefits to get their cat neutered. We recommend that all cats and kittens should be neutered. This can be done from four months of age or as advised by your veterinary surgeon.

If you can't afford to have your cat neutered, because your income is low or you are in receipt of means-tested benefits, then Cats Protection may be able to contribute towards the cost. If your application is successful, a voucher will be sent directly to the veterinary surgeon when your cat goes for its operation.

The current value of the vouchers is £26 for female cats and £20 for male cats. You will need to pay the remaining amount yourself directly to the veterinary practice.

For more information about neutering, please contact us using the details on our contact page.

Note: Financial assistance towards the cost of neutering is also available for dogs - visit for more information.